Trip Ideas

13 New Museums to See Now

Clear your schedule — a wave of new museums showcasing more than just highbrow art has sprung up across the globe. We’re talking FIFA soccer gear, ancient Chinese ceramics and a whole lot of futuristic architecture.

See recent posts by April Ellis

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San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Just when we thought the coastal rivalry couldn’t get more heated, the new SFMOMA ups the ante, with a $305 million addition. At a sprawling 460,000 square feet (three times the size of New York's), this 10-story monster of a museum will be America's largest modern art institution. Designed by leading architecture firm Snøhetta, the contemporary structure nearly doubles the footprint of the original Mario Botta building. SFMOMA officially open its doors on May 14 — at which point it's safe to say west coast, best coast, baby.

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Les Caves du Louvre, Paris

Centre Pompidou. The Louvre. Musee d’Orsay. With world-class art museums like these, you’d think Paris has it all. The only thing missing? A shrine to wine. Enter Les Caves du Louvre, a new interactive concept created by oenophiles Olivier Magny and Nicolas Paradis of Ô Château, the city's biggest wine bar. This immersive (and sensorial) experience into the world of French wine is housed in an 18th-century cellar and has winemaking classes, tastings and winery tours. Now that's our kind of museum.

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Museum of Tomorrow, Rio

With the 2016 Summer Olympics right around the corner, Rio has its game face on. Its best new players? A slew of cultural venues like the just-opened Museum of Tomorrow. Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the trippy, skeletal-shaped museum is dedicated to all things science (emerging technologies, climate change, biodiversity). Want to soak up the Brazilian sunshine post-visit? Pack a picnic and pop a squat on its spacious plaza along Guanabara Bay.

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Photo Courtesy of OMA


Faena Forum, Miami, FL

If you thought Miami was all beach, booze and babes, you’ve got it all wrong. The southern city has one of the hottest arts scenes in the country — and this fall it’ll gain another cultural gem. The Faena Forum. is a multifunction arena that will include a lecture hall, performing arts theater and occasional exhibits. You'll no doubt recognize the building, which was modeled after Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim, courtesy of Rem Koolhaas's team, OMA.

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Photo Courtesy of Louvre Abu Dhabi


Louvre, Abu Dhabi

Move over, France. There’s a new Louvre in town. Floating on a $19.4 billion island, this new foundation is the latest extension of Abu Dhabi's playground for the rich and er, richer. Inside the futuristic domed structure (opening later this year), you'll find 260,000 square feet of permanent and temporary art installations. But this is only half the fun. A second much-anticipated outpost, the Frank Gehry-designed, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, has been in the works for 10 years and is expected to debut in 2017. Let the countdown begin.

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FIFA World Football Museum, Zurich, Switzerland

Despite a slew of corruption scandals, the FIFA legend lives on. The $177 million facility will display more than 1,000 exhibits dedicated to the sport. And though we're not typically the gambling sort, we bet droves of diehard soccer fans will line up at this Swiss museum when it opens in Zurich, in February. We're all in.

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Photo Courtesy of Eiichi Kano


Folk Art Museum, Hangzhou, China

This recent addition to the China Academy of Arts campus in Hangzhou, on China's eastern coast, is as much an architectural masterpiece as it is an art museum. Built on a former tea plantation, the 53,800-square-foot space looks like a small village of zigzagging houses, an optical illusion created by stainless steel latices and thousands of angular roof tiles from Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. Explore seven galleries as well as craft workshops for engraving, ceramics and textiles.

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Casa Vicens, Barcelona

Barcelona is practically synonymous with surrealist architect Gaudi. There’s the Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell and Casa Batlló. And by year’s end, Casa Vicens — Gaudi's first major work and a UNESCO World Heritage Site — will open as a public museum.

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Camera - Italian Center for Photography, Turin, Italy

Turin’s newest museum (and Italy’s first photography center) will put your 'grams to shame. Opened in October, this contemporary gallery joins the ranks of the National Cinema Museum, the Royal Palace and the Egyptian Museum in the town's artsy historic center. Expect to see three main exhibitions and five or six smaller rotating installations of Italian and international photography each year.

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National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington D.C.

At the National Mall this fall, Pres Obama will cut the ribbon on the Smithsonian’s biggest achievement: a 400,000-square-foot edifice (five stories above ground and five levels below) dedicated to African American history and designed by David Adjaye. Until then, get a sneak peek of the 33,000-piece collection at the "Through the African American Lens" exhibit at the National Museum of American History. The selection includes a civil war tent, clothing owned by Harriet Tubman, an instrument of James Brown's and more.

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Photo Courtesy of Chris Mrozewski via V Three Studios LLC


National Blues Museum, St. Louis

Scit, scat and tap along to the soulful tunes at St. Louis’s new National Blues Museum, opening in April. Steps away from the iconic Gateway Arch, the musical hub will focus on the genre's importance within America's rhythmic roots. On view: interactive exhibits and performances at the stunning 150-seat theater.

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Palestinian Museum, Israel

Just north of Jerusalem, this $30 million terraced complex is a temple to Palestinian art and culture. The inaugural exhibit, "Never Part," will use stories of Palestinians' most treasured possessions to make a connection between material culture and collective identity. The museum is set to debut on May 15 and will be Palestine's first LEED-certified building.



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